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   2009| January-April  | Volume 13 | Issue 1  
    Online since April 29, 2009

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Stress causing psychosomatic illness among nurses
Pratibha P Kane
January-April 2009, 13(1):28-32
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50721  PMID:20165610
Stress in nurses is an endemic problem. It contributes to health problems in nurses and decreases their efficiency. Documenting the causes and extent of stress in any healthcare unit is essential for successful interventions . Aim : Establishing the existence and extent of work stress in nurses in a hospital setting, identifying the major sources of stress, and finding the incidence of psychosomatic illness related to stress. Materials and Methods: This study used a questionnaire relating to stressors and a list of psychosomatic ailments. One hundred and six nurses responded and they were all included in the study. Stressors were based on four main factors: work related, work interactions, job satisfaction, and home stress. The factors relating to stress were given weights according to the severity. The total score of 50 was divided into mild, moderate, severe, and burnout. Results: Most important causes of stress were jobs not finishing in time because of shortage of staff, conflict with patient relatives, overtime, and insufficient pay. Psychosomatic disorders like acidity, back pain, stiffness in neck and shoulders, forgetfulness, anger, and worry significantly increased in nurses having higher stress scores. Increase in age or seniority did not significantly decrease stress. Conclusion: Moderate levels of stress are seen in a majority of the nurses. Incidence of psychosomatic illness increases with the level of stress. Healthcare organizations need to urgently take preemptive steps to counter this problem.
  20,448 853 19
The exposure to and health effects of antimony
Ross G Cooper, Adrian P Harrison
January-April 2009, 13(1):3-10
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50716  PMID:20165605
Context: This minireview describes the health effects of antimony exposure in the workplace and the environment. Aim: To collate information on the consequences of occupational and environmental exposure to antimony on physiological function and well-being. Methods: The criteria used in the current minireview for selecting articles were adopted from proposed criteria in The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Articles were classified from an acute and chronic exposure and toxicity thrust. Results: The proportion of utilised and non-utilised articles was tabulated. Antimony toxicity is dependent on the exposure dose, duration, route (breathing, eating, drinking, or skin contact), other chemical exposures, age, sex, nutritional status, family traits, life style, and state of health. Chronic exposure to antimony in the air at levels of 9 mg/m 3 may exacerbate irritation of the eyes, skin, and lungs. Long-term inhalation of antimony can potentiate pneumoconiosis, altered electrocardiograms, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach ulcers, results which were confirmed in laboratory animals. Although there were investigations of the effect of antimony in sudden infant death syndrome, current findings suggest no link. Antimony trioxide exposure is predominant in smelters. Mining and exposure via glass working, soldering, and brazing are also important. Conclusion: Antimony has some useful but undoubtedly harmful effects on health and well-being and measures need to be taken to prevent hazardous exposure of the like. Its biological monitoring in the workplace is essential.
  11,666 529 16
Climate change and health: Why should India be concerned?
JP Majra, A Gur
January-April 2009, 13(1):11-16
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50717  PMID:20165606
Overwhelming evidence shows that climate change presents growing threats to public health security - from extreme weather-related disasters to wider spread of such vector-borne diseases as malaria and dengue. The impacts of climate on human health will not be evenly distributed around the world. The Third Assessment Report (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-2001) concluded that vulnerability to climate change is a function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Developing country populations, particularly in small island states, arid and high mountain zones, and in densely populated coastal areas are considered to be particularly vulnerable. India is a large developing country, with the Great Himalayas, the world's third largest ice mass in the north, 7500 km long, and densely populated coast line in the south. Nearly 700 million of her over one billion population living in rural areas directly depends on climate-sensitive sectors (agriculture, forests, and fisheries) and natural resources (such as water, biodiversity, mangroves, coastal zones, grasslands) for their subsistence and livelihoods. Heat wave, floods (land and coastal), and draughts occur commonly. Malaria, malnutrition, and diarrhea are major public health problems. Any further increase, as projected in weather-related disasters and related health effects, may cripple the already inadequate public health infrastructure in the country. Hence, there is an urgent need to respond to the situation. Response options to protect health from effects of climate change include mitigation as well as adaptation. Both can complement each other and together can significantly reduce the risks of climate change.
  10,452 864 8
India's National Action Plan on Climate Change
Harshal T Pandve
January-April 2009, 13(1):17-19
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50718  PMID:20165607
Climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our times. Recent events have emphatically demonstrated our growing vulnerability to climate change. Climate change impacts will range from affecting agriculture - further endangering food security - to sea-level rise and the accelerated erosion of coastal zones, increasing intensity of natural disasters, species extinction, and the spread of vector-borne diseases. India released its much-awaited National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) to mitigate and adapt to climate change on June 30, 2008, almost a year after it was announced. The NAPCC runs through 2017 and directs ministries to submit detailed implementation plans to the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change by December 2008. This article briefly reviews the plan and opinion about it from different experts and organizations.
  8,477 534 1
Assessment of association of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with bronchial asthma and oxidative stress in children: A case control study
Ram Suresh, Shally Awasthi, AA Mahdi, DK Patel, VK Singh, Misra Rita
January-April 2009, 13(1):33-37
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50722  PMID:20165611
Background: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) originate from the incomplete combustion of organic matter and ambient air pollution by these is increasing. There is also an increase in the global prevalence of asthma, for which environmental pollution has been recognized as one of the important factors. Exposure to pollutants and other allergens induces chronic airway inflammation by generation of reactive oxygen species, causing oxidative stress. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to assess association, if any, between exposure to PAH and asthma as well as oxidative stress in children. Method: In this hospital-based case control study, cases of bronchial asthma aged 1-14 years and healthy matched controls were included. Oxidative stress was measured by assessing the levels of enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase, malondialdehyde (MDA), and reduced glutathione (GSH). Results : Forty-two cases and 20 controls were enrolled. Mean blood level of phenanthrene, a PAH, was 63.11 ppb 115.62 and 4.20 ppb 10.68 ppb in cases and controls, respectively ( P = 0.02). Mean blood levels of GSH was significantly lower in cases and controls (27.39 mg/ml 11.09 versus 47.39 g/ml 13.83; P -value = 0.001). Likewise, mean blood level of MDA in nanomole/ml was significantly higher in asthma as compared with controls (12.85 5.40 versus 8.19 5.16; P -value = 0.002), suggestive of increased oxidative stress. Conclusions: Because elevated blood level of phenanthrene is associated with bronchial asthma as well as with oxidative stress, measures to reduce exposure to PAH may possibly lead to reduced incidence and severity of bronchial asthma.
  6,690 378 12
Assessment of erythrocyte acetylcholine esterase activities in painters
Mohd Imran Khan, Abbas Ali Mahdi, Najmul Islam, Subodh Kumar Rastogi, M.P.S Negi
January-April 2009, 13(1):23-27
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50720  PMID:20165609
Thirty-five male painters in the age group of 20-50 years occupationally engaged in domestic and commercial painting for 5-12 years having blood lead levels (BLL) ≤40 g/dl were subjected to the determination of acetyl choline esterase (AChE) levels both in plasma and red blood cell (RBC) lysate. BLL were determined using a graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer. The results showed that BLL were 7.7 times higher in the painters as compared with that of the control group. Significant decreases in RBC and plasma AChE were observed in the exposed group in comparison with controls. RBC and plasma AChE showed a decrease of 18.4% and 18%, respectively, in the exposed group. The findings also indicated a significant negative correlation of both RBC and plasma AChE activities with BLL. The marked reduction observed in both RBC and plasma AChE activity may account for disruption of cholinergic function and result in neurotoxicity among the painters.
  6,032 392 -
Assessment of air pollution and its effects on the health status of the workers in beam rolling mills factory (Iran National Steel Industrial Group) from Ahvaz-Iran
Masoud Rafiei, Alaka S Gadgil, Vikram S Ghole, Sharad D Gore, Neemat Jaafarzadeh, Roksana Mirkazemi
January-April 2009, 13(1):20-22
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50719  PMID:20165608
Background: Air pollutants of iron- and steel-making operations have historically been an environmental and health hazard. These pollutants include gaseous substances such as sulfur oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide. The Iran National Steel Industrial Group beam rolling mills factory has two production lines viz. line 630 and line 650, with different beam production capabilities and is capable of producing different types of beams. Materials and Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study on 400 workers in different exposure levels to environmental pollution was performed during 2005 to determine the mean value of respirable particulate matter (RPM) concentrations and its effects on the health status of workers. To elicit information regarding the health status of the worker, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health standard questionnaire was used. Fisher's exact test was performed to assess the relative risk (RR) of exposure to air pollution on cardiovascular diseases, chest tightness, cough, difficulty in retention, i.e. loss of memory, tension, occupational fatigue, and occupational stress in exposed workers. Results: There was significant difference in RPM pollution level between two product lines. The RR of exposure to air pollution on cardiovascular diseases, chest tightness, cough, difficulty in retention, i.e. loss of memory, tension, occupational fatigue, and occupational stress in exposed workers were 2.78, 2.44, 2.15, 1.92, 1.57, 3.90, and 2.09, respectively.
  5,845 354 1
Evaluation of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate as an indoor air pollutant and biological assessment of methylene dianiline in the polyurethane factories
Mirtaghi Mirmohammadi, M Hakimi Ibrahim, Anees Ahmad, Mohd Omar Abdul Kadir, M Mohammadyan, SB Mirashrafi
January-April 2009, 13(1):38-42
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50723  PMID:20165612
Today many raw materials used in factories may have a dangerous effect on the physiological system of workers. One of them, which is widely used in the polyurethane factories, is diisocyanates. These compounds are widely used in surface coatings, polyurethane foams, adhesives, resins, elastomers, binders, and sealants. Exposure to diisocyanates causes irritation to the skin, mucous membranes, eyes, and respiratory tract. Methylene dianiline (MDA) is a metabolite of methylene diphenyle diisocyanate (MDI), an excretory material of worker's urine who are exposed to MDI. Around 100 air samples were collected among five factories by the Midget Impinger, which contained DMSO absorbent as a solvent and Tryptamine as a reagent. Samples were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with an EC\UV detector using the NIOSH 5522 method of sampling and analysis. Also, fifty urine samples were collected from workers by using William's biological analysis method. The concentration of MDI in all air samples was more than 88 g/m, showing a high concentration of the pollutant in the workplaces in comparison with the NIOSH standard, and all the worker's urine was contaminated by MDA. The correlation and regression tests were used to obtain statistical model for MDI and MDA that is useful for prediction of diisocyanates pollution situation in the polyurethane factories.
  5,405 271 -
Basic occupational health services
Shyam Pingle
January-April 2009, 13(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50715  PMID:20165604
  4,686 564 -
Longitudinal follow-up of oxidative stress and DNA damage parameters in detergent workers
Masoud Mashhadi Akbar Boojar, Faranak Goodarzi
January-April 2009, 13(1):43-52
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.50724  PMID:20165613
Background: The aim of this study was the follow-up of work place enzyme and detergent dust exposure effects and smoking habit on DNA damage parameters of workers and the evaluation of their antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid peroxidation with regard to bag-filter installation in the work place. Material and Methods: All investigated parameters were studied in a group of 153 workers of enzyme-free detergent production plant (E-free) and a group of 138 workers of enzyme-plus detergent plant (E-plus) and compared with 45 controls 7.2 years before and 3.1 years after filter system installation. The following methods were used: antioxidant enzymes by an ultraviolet-visibles spectrophotometer, malondialdehyde (MDA), 8-hydroxy-2'deoxyguanosine (8OH-2'dG) by high-performance liquid chromatography, trace elements by atomic absorption spectroscopy, and comet assay by single cell gel electrophoresis. Results: Compared with controls, significant increases were observed in both detergent-exposed groups with respect to the levels of MDA, antioxidant enzyme activities, and DNA damage parameters, including 8OH-2'dG, endonuclease III-sensitive sites, and DNA strand breaks, with enhancement effect of smoking before filter system installation. After filter installation, besides significant decrease in the detergent and enzyme dust of airborne and oxidative stress indicators, there was improvement in all DNA damage investigated parameters at the end of this study. The levels of cumulative exposure index of detergent dusts decreased significantly after airborne improvement and showed positive correlation with internal biochemical parameters. Conclusions: We concluded that high levels of enzyme and detergent contents of work place dusts had a cumulative effect and smoking had a synergistic effect on the imbalance of antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation, suggesting that oxidation stress is important in the occurrence and progression of DNA damage over this study. Detergent and enzyme contents in respirable and total dust had the main role and sufficient potential in their genotoxicity.
  4,358 325 -